FEBRUARY 2000 (print version)
News (print version)
man Don Randel chosen as University’s 12th president
own journey to Chicago has
been rather long,” began the silver-haired man at the podium. Don Michael
Randel, the provost of Cornell University, had been elected to the presidency
of the University of Chicago only minutes before. Now he had to introduce
himself to the University and the city via his first U of C news conference.
“I thought the Odyssey was supposed to end in Ithaca,” he quipped, drawing
chuckles from his audience. “It turns out I was mistaken about that.
After a mere delay of 32 years, I have found my way at last.”
Randel was greeted
with smiles as broad as his own on December 13, the day the U of C’s
Board of Trustees ratified his nomination as Chicago’s 12th president.
Taking office on July 1, he succeeds Hugo F. Sonnenschein. This past
June, Sonnenschein, who has served as president since 1993, announced
his decision to return to full-time teaching and research as a member
of the University’s economics department. Following Sonnenschein’s announcement,
the trustee presidential search committee worked closely with a faculty
advisory committee to find presidential candidates, recommending Randel
on December 9--the same day he celebrated his 59th birthday.
“Don was an early
favorite of our committee, and he maintained that position even as we
considered hundreds of candidates,” said Edgar D. Jannotta, chairman
of the board and chair of the search committee. “He impressed us enormously,
both personally and professionally. He is a distinguished scholar with
an appreciation for research across disciplines, and he understands
the University’s intellectual environment.”
Randel, the Given
Foundation professor of musicology at Cornell, joined its faculty in
1968, and he has served as the school’s provost since 1995. “It is not
easy for me to leave Cornell, and I could only leave it for another
institution that is in its own way equally unique,” he told the Cornell
Chronicle, a faculty and staff newspaper. “The University of Chicago
is such an institution, and one whose particular devotion to intellectual
ideals without compromise or apology I share.”
A specialist in
Renaissance and medieval music who plays jazz piano and trumpet, Randel
has edited the New Harvard Dictionary of Music (1986), the Harvard Biographical
Dictionary of Music (1996), and the Harvard Concise Dictionary of Music
and Musicians (1999). He grew up in Panama, where his father owned a
small business. Though his favorite high-school teacher, Donald Musselman,
AM’50, encouraged him to go to Chicago, Randel chose to attend Princeton,
where he received his B.A., M.F.A., and Ph.D. in music. He wrote his
dissertation on the chant of the Mozarabic rite--liturgical music and
text used by the Roman Catholic church in Spain before and during the
11th century. An honorary Woodrow Wilson fellow, Danforth graduate fellow,
and Fulbright award winner, Randel was editor in chief of the Journal
of the American Musicological Society from 1972 to 1974 and the society’s
vice president from 1977 to 1978. At Cornell, Randel has served in a
number of administrative posts, including department chair, vice provost,
associate dean of the college of arts and sciences, and Harold Tanner
dean of the college of arts and sciences.
On the morning
of Randel’s election, Sonnenschein began the 11 a.m. news conference,
held in the Ida Noyes library, with tributes to the University and its
next president. “It is a glorious day for the University, for it will
go forward with the confidence it has selected outstanding new leadership,”
he announced. “And it is a glorious day for Don Randel, because he will
have the honor and the enormous satisfaction to care for and to lead
the university that sets the standards for so much of what is best in
Next, geophysical scientist Frank Richter, SM’71, PhD’72, who chaired
the search’s faculty advisory committee, explained what that committee
had been looking for in a candidate--and found in Randel: “The task
that was given to the advisory committee, very simply put, was to find
an outstanding scholar whom we would be proud to have on our faculty.
He should also be a person who not only believes that the University
of Chicago is one of the truly outstanding institutions of the world,
but also understands the values and traditions that make it so. We were
seeking a person with a powerful and persuasive voice, so he could remind
us--and also explain to those who do not yet know us well--why it’s
so important that there has been a University of Chicago for over 100
years, and why it’s so important to continue. And beyond all of that,
we need somebody to take a role of leadership in an institution that
Don himself has already characterized as ungovernable.”
The audience laughed at the reference--the December 9 Chicago Tribune
had quoted Randel calling universities “ungovernable” because “you’re
running a billion-dollar-a-year business and yet there is no one to
whom you can give a direct personal order.” Richter concluded, “We have
found the president for the University of Chicago who really exceeded
what we had the right to expect when we started this process.”
Randel himself seemed equally honored. Taking the podium in a navy
pinstriped suit and paisley tie, he said, “The University of Chicago
is a one-of-a-kind institution. It represents the best of the values
that I cherish the most....It’s an institution that the United States
and the world need more now than ever.”
Maintaining those values, he said, is the biggest challenge facing
the University. “Trollope describes one of his characters as someone
who had arrogance of thought unsustained by first-rate abilities. One
knows people like that, and one can even think of an institution or
two whose arrogance outran their abilities,” he said with a wry grin.
“At Chicago, we must never become the object of such a claim. We must
pursue, as we have always in our history--without compromise, without
apology--the principles that underlie the pursuit of understanding in
all fields of scholarship and in the arts.”
Randel noted that not only was he looking forward to being a part of
Chicago’s music department, but also to finding out about everybody’s
work, “students and faculty alike.” He and his wife, Carol, are equally
excited, he said, about moving to the city of Chicago and taking advantage
of its cultural institutions. The couple has four grown daughters: Amy
Constable Keating, Julia Randel, Emily Constable Pershing, and Sally
Randel Eggert. Like his predecessors, Randel will live in the president’s
house at 59th Street and University Avenue. “The city and the University
have done much productive work together,” he said, “and I look forward
to advancing that from the neighborhood of Hyde Park, where I expect
to be a citizen and expect to be seen walking on the streets regularly.”
During the Q & A session that followed, Randel was asked about his
plans for the University. Noting that a “biological revolution” is taking
place in the sciences, and the U of C needs to keep pace with those
advances, Randel also said the University has a head start on another
education trend, an increasing tendency toward interdisciplinary work
in the humanities and the social sciences.
Asked what he had learned and achieved as Cornell’s provost, Randel
replied, “The only good ideas come from the faculty.” He added, “It’s
been my job simply to try to get behind them, to resolve the inevitable
differences about them, and see us move ahead where we had an important
need to move ahead.” At Cornell, Randel has commissioned a task force
on the biological sciences; helped develop a program to recruit the
brightest undergraduates through special research opportunities and
financial support; led the development of procedures to respond to sexual
harassment complaints; and helped draft a campus housing policy designed
to improve undergraduate life.
Said Cornell’s president, Hunter R. Rawlings III, “Cornell has benefited
enormously from his intelligence, integrity, energy, powers of persuasion,
and commitment to students....Don Randel’s leadership will be felt not
only at Chicago, but throughout the nation.”--K.S.
$17.6 million gift goes toward new research facility
The biggest new
building called for in the campus master plan--the Interdivisional Research
Building (IRB), designed to enhance collaboration between researchers
from the biological and physical sciences divisions--also has a big
price tag: approximately $131.5 million. But in January, the Howard
Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) came through with a big gift--$17.6
million--to help fund the IRB’s construction.
for the IRB is planned for the summer of 2000, with construction to
be completed in 2003. Approximately 375,000 square feet in size, the
building will be located along the south side of 57th Street between
Drexel and Ellis Avenues, on a site currently occupied by Whitman Laboratory,
the Visual Sciences Center, and Phemister Hall.
The IRB will house
faculty from the University’s new Institute for Biophysical Dynamics;
scientists from the biochemistry & molecular biology department and
the Ben May Institute for Cancer Research; the entire chemistry department;
physicists from the James Franck Institute; and the University’s seven
at universities and academic medical centers across the United States,
the HHMI provides more than 20 percent of all private, nonprofit support
for medical research in the nation. The Hughes grant will pay construction
costs for 33,700 square feet--about 10 percent of the new structure--to
be devoted to the U of C Hughes investigators’ laboratories and offices.
Those investigators--professors Elaine V. Fuchs; Nipam H. Patel; Susan
L. Lindquist; Donald F. Steiner, SM’56, MD’56; Graeme I. Bell; Harinder
Singh; and Joseph A. Piccirilli--will move from their current space
in the U of C Hospitals.
“We are extremely
pleased that the Howard Hughes Medical Institute shares our vision that
incredible science will result from juxtaposing these scientists in
a single place,” says Glenn D. Steele Jr., dean of the Biological Sciences
Division and vice president for medical affairs. “We expect that this
combination will lead to the development of high-impact projects that
transcend the boundaries separating the traditional disciplines of the
biological and physical sciences.”
The IRB’s effect
will transcend the physical facility itself, Steele says. With one of
its main entrances facing south, the IRB will help create a new science
quadrangle with the Crerar Library, the Cummings Life Science Center,
the Henry Hinds Laboratory for the Geophysical Sciences, and the Samuel
Kersten Jr. Physics Teaching Center. In addition to providing a focal
point for researchers on all sides of the IRB, the new structure will
have a less visible asset: its new central loading area, connected to
an extension of the service tunnel system, will allow equipment and
supplies to be transported easily between buildings.--K.S
Former U of C professor Robert Mundell earned the 1999 Nobel Memorial
Prize in economic sciences. Now a professor at Columbia University,
Mundell was recognized for work done at Chicago, showing how international
capital movement can affect an individual country's ability to manage
its own economy. The award marks Chicago's 71st Nobel Prize, its 19th
prize in economics.
J. M. Coetzee, a visiting professor in the Committee on Social Thought,
received the 1999 Booker Prize, Britain's top fiction award, for his
novel Disgrace. Coetzee--who also won in 1983 for his novel Life & Times
of Michael K--is the first author to win the Booker twice.
The Geological Society of America honored Frank M. Richter, SM'71, PhD'72,
the Sewell Avery distinguished service professor in geophysical sciences,
with its George Wollard Award. The annual award recognizes outstanding
contributions to geology. The GSA cited Richter's work using fluid dynamics
to discuss the driving mechanism of plate tectonics.
The City Council of Chicago renamed the 5800 block of Maryland Avenue
to honor gastroenterologist Joseph B. Kirsner, PhD'42, the Louis Block
distinguished service professor in medicine. The sign unveiling--along
with a dinner and a lecture--marked Kirsner's 90th birthday.
In November, Edward A. Cucci became president and chief operating officer
of Louis A. Weiss Memorial Hospital, the U of C Hospitals's north--side
facility. Cucci, who also serves as a vice president of the University
of Chicago Hospitals and Health System, succeeds Greg Cierlik, president
of Weiss since 1995.
The David and Lucille Packard
Foundation named Ka Yee Lee, assistant professor of chemistry, a 1999
Packard fellow. Lee will use the $625,000 grant for her research on
lung surfactant, a mixture of lipids and proteins that assists the breathing
process. Lee was also named a 1999 Searle scholar, an honor that brings
an additional $180,000 grant.
Four University faculty members
have been named to distinguished service professorships: Homi Bhabha,
English; Sheila Fitzpatrick, history; Mark Strand, Committee on Social
Thought; and John Cacioppo, psychology.
to named posts
Michael Camille is the first
Mary L. Block professor in art history, and Anne Robertson is the first
Claire Dux Swift professor in music. In the Graduate School of Business,
Pradeep Chintagunta is now the Robert Law Jr. professor, Steven Kaplan
is the Neubauer Family professor of entrepreneurship and finance, Abbie
Smith is the Irene and Boris Stern professor, Ruey Tsay is the H. G.
B. Alexander professor, and Mark Zmijewski is the Leon Carroll Marshall
professor. John Mark Hansen was named the William R. Kenan Jr. professor
in political science.
Twelve scholars recently joined Chicago's faculty as full professors:
Bennett Bertenthal and John Cacioppo, psychology; John Brewer, English;
James Conant and John Haugeland, philosophy; Donald Harper, East Asian
languages & civilizations; Michael Hopkins and Richard Jordan, chemistry;
Steven Lalley, statistics; Mark Lilla, the Committee on Social Thought;
Philip Reny, economics; and George Triantis, the Law School.
The American Philosophical Society elected James W. Cronin, SM'53, PhD'55,
University professor emeritus in physics and astronomy & astrophysics,
to its membership.
would seem that the University
of Chicago folks have more in common with Fox Mulder than with Dana
Scully: the October 18 Chicago Sun-Times reported that 173 people
on the uchicago.edu domain had participated in a University of California
at Berkeley-based effort to look for alien life. Berkeley's Search for
Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) project uses a radio telescope
to scan the sky for signals from outer space. But the project can't
afford a supercomputer to crunch the data gathered by the telescope,
so Berkeley set up the SETI@home Web site (setiathome.ssl.berkeley.edu)
and asked for help from around the world. Users download the software
from the site and run the program as a screensaver or a background program.
At the time of the article, more than 1,300,000 people had participated,
with the U of C crowd crunching 30,267 packets of data--taking the equivalent
of 61 years of idle computer time.
pegged Chicago's Bruce Lahn, 31, as a young innovator to
watch for by naming him one of its "TR100" in its 100th anniversary
issue this past fall. The new assistant professor in the departments
of human genetics and molecular genetics & cell biology and the Committee
on Genetics catalogued the genes of the human Y chromosome for his thesis
at MIT's Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research. As a postdoctoral
researcher, the magazine explains, "He demonstrated that the Y chromosome
carries a wealth of genes implicated in male fertility, a discovery
that could open the way for new infertility treatments, perhaps even
a male birth control pill that would work by deactivating key genes."
seen the University of Chicago Hospitals helicopter on ER--now,
tune into cable TV's Discovery Health Channel to see the Hospitals themselves.
Launched last August, the channel includes such programming as Lifeline,
a real-life anthology series offering a look behind the scenes at some
of the world's leading medical institutions. Lifeline producers
decided to include the University of Chicago Hospitals because of the
city's recognition in the medical dramas Chicago Hope and ER.
Shows featuring the Hospitals follow an established group of staff and
interns and focus on their interactions with patients and families.
No sooner had the campus master plan been approved ("Completion of campus
master plan leads to building boom," October/99) than it began materializing.
In December, workers broke ground on the new parking structure on 55th
Street between Ellis and Greenwood Avenues. Designed by New Haven, Connecticut,
architect Cesar Pelli, the five-story building (one story is underground)
will offer 1,080 spaces, for a net gain of about 700 campus parking
spaces. The ground floor will hold a combination of recreational, entertainment,
and eating facilities--possibly a bowling alley, billiards parlor, and
a restaurant and bar. The building should open in late autumn.
On other building
fronts, Bruner/Cott & Associates Inc. of Cambridge, Massachusetts, has
been chosen to design Bartlett Gymnasium's renovation, while Sasaki
Associates Inc., based in Massachusetts and San Francisco, has been
chosen to develop a campus-wide landscape plan to strengthen the sense
of community. Bruner/Cott will convert Bartlett to a dining hall and
construct a one-story addition for food storage and a loading dock.
According to Steve Klass, deputy dean of student services, the new 550-seat
dining facility will be nearly twice the size of any dining room on
campus. Serving more than 1,000 students, the dining room will be on
the second floor--where the basketball courts now are. The track that
runs above the courts will not be torn down but may be closed if it
can't be brought up to code. No decision has been made yet regarding
the future of the basement pool.
of Jimmy's Woodlawn Tap are crying in their beers--but not at Jimmy's.
In May 1999, three months after the death of owner Jimmy Wilson ("Jimmy
of Jimmy's dies at age 86," April/99), the fabled watering hole at 55th
Street and Woodlawn Avenue closed when Wilson's liquor license expired.
Wilson's heirs sold the bar to longtime Jimmy's manager Bill Callahan
and his brother, Jim Callahan, who planned to apply for a new city liquor
license and quickly reopen the bar for business.
Instead, the Callahans
and the University of Chicago--which owns the Woodlawn Tap building--discovered
that a number of renovations were needed before the bar could pass inspection.
After repairing the roof, replacing the wiring, installing new fixtures,
and enlarging the bathrooms, the Callahan brothers applied for a Chicago
liquor license late last year.
And the city rejected
it. The reason: the bar's proximity to St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic
Church and School. A state statute prohibits the sale of liquor within
100 feet of a church or school entrance. Jimmy's is more than 100 feet
from the school entrance, but only 89 feet away from the parking lot,
often used as a playground. The Callahans have hired a lawyer to contest
Film emerged as a doctoral-degree-granting program ("Reel Scholarship,"
April/1997) at the U of C this past fall when the Committee on Cinema
& Media Studies admitted four graduate students to its inaugural class.
U of C undergraduates had been able to concentrate in cinema and media
studies for several years; already the committee has had several hundred
requests for information on graduate studies.
The doctoral program
focuses on the history, theory, and criticism of film and related media.
Students must complete 16 quarter-long courses, three required and the
rest elective. At least eight of those courses must be listed among
the committee's offerings. The required classes are Methods and Issues
in Cinema Studies and Film History, a two-quarter survey course for
beginning graduate students or advanced undergraduates. Students also
must demonstrate proficiency in two modern foreign languages.
Echoing the program's
international, interdisciplinary nature, the committee's faculty comes
from a variety of departments. Members are: committee chair James Lastra,
associate professor in English; art history professors Tom Gunning,
Joel M. Snyder, SB'61, and Yuri Tsivian; Miriam Hansen and Jacqueline
Stewart, AM'93, PhD'99, of the English department; Laura Letinsky of
the Committee on the Visual Arts; David J. Levin and Katie Trumpener,
associate professors in Germanic Studies; and Rebecca West, professor
in Romance languages and literatures. Students can also draw upon two
dozen resource faculty members.
is extremely fortunate to have such an incredible faculty," says Lastra.
"Some of the film scholars currently at the University--people like
Miriam Hansen and Tom Gunning--are really the people who've helped to
redefine the field as a whole."
Rosen, AM'62, PhD'66, the Edwin A. and Betty L. Bergman distinguished
service professor in economics, will become president of the American
Economics Association (AEA) in 2001. Rosen, editor of the Journal
of Political Economy and a microeconomist with expertise in labor
economics and industrial organization, will be the fourth U of C economist
in five years to hold the post. Economics professor emeritus D. Gale
Johnson ("Gale Force," December/97) was the AEA's 1999 president; Nobelist
and GSB professor Robert Fogel was president in 1998; and economics
professor emeritus Arnold Harberger, AM'47, PhD'50, headed the group
During the coming
year, Rosen will oversee the budget and coordinate preparations for
the 2001 meeting, which should draw nearly 7,000 people.--K.S.
Place of the Antique in Early Modern Europe,
through February 29. Featuring paintings, bronze sculptures, porcelain,
and decorative arts, this exhibit explores the impact of classical ruins
and ancient Greek and Roman culture on new artistic styles and the collecting
of antiques in 16th- through 18th-century Europe. The exhibit offers
insights into the influence of the ever-present classical past on later
Italian cultures. Smart Museum; call 773/702-0200.
Liturgical Music, February
27 at 3 p.m. Randi Von Ellefson conducts the Rockefeller Chapel Choir,
the University Chorus, and the Motet Choir as they perform music from
the Jewish tradition. Cantors Deborah Bard and Alberto Mizrahi and Chicago
professional Jewish choir Halevi join them. Rockefeller Memorial Chapel;
March 8 at 7 p.m. The Oriental Institute celebrates Women’s History
Month with a gallery talk that explores the role of women in ancient
Egypt. View clothing, jewelry, furnishings, and decorative arts found
at ancient sites ranging from temples and tombs to royal palaces. Oriental
Institute; call 773/702-9507.
Pinafore, March 9–March
12. Hyde Park’s Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company presents its 40th anniversary
production, a tale of love on the high seas. The University Chamber
Orchestra also performs. Mandel Hall; call 773/702-7300.
Goodyear, March 14 at 8 p.m. The Regents Park Discovery Concert
features pianist Stewart Goodyear. In his Chicago recital debut, Goodyear
performs his own works as well as pieces by Mozart and Rachmaninoff.
Mandel Hall; call 773/702-8068.